UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Toward a livable region? : an evaluation of business parks in Greater Vancouver McMillan, Sarah Elizabeth


Postmodern metropolitan regions have become marked by the process of office suburbanization. Greater Vancouver has not been immune to this. Despite regional planning policy, suburban offices have located on industrial land in isolated, autodependent business parks. The amount of office space in business parks far surpasses office space in the designated regional town centres. This thesis examines whether business park development is consistent with the goals set out in Greater Vancouver's Livable Region Strategic Plan; whether business parks are in tune with the principles of sustainability; and whether business parks are fulfilling municipal tax and employment objectives. To answer these questions, an evaluative framework of eight criteria is established. Analysis of quantitative and qualitative data demonstrates that business parks are not consistent with these goals and objectives. The land consumed, the travel patterns produced, and the taxes generated by business parks reveal a land use pattern that is far less efficient than urban centre locations. Concentrating office development in existing urban and suburban centres complements the retail, residential, community services, and transit infrastructure in centres and enables employees to work in places where they can live, shop, and play nearby.

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